If you want to practice as a professional chaplain in a clinical setting such as hospice, hospitals, prisons, trauma, rehab facilities or other clinical field settings then you need more than ecclesiastic endorsement or ordination. Even a Masters in Divinity or an equivalent cannot guarantee you clinical employment as a chaplain. You need Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE).
Clinical Pastoral Education provides the theologically/spiritually trained person with specific clinical, support and counseling skills needed to be successful in clinical settings. In fact most clinical settings prefer board certification or a minimum of two units of CPE
A Recovery of Soul: Enhance your gifts for serving persons in crisis
Let us introduce you to a powerful new resource! CPE can help you to strengthen your skills as you alleviate human suffering and as you care for the emotional and spiritual needs of your community. Our educational philosophy embraces the Action-Reflection model of learning combined with personal spiritual formation, student-centered teaching and peer group interaction. Through this program you will be able to develop your own theology and pastoral practice, drawing on your own faith perspective as well as the stance of the professors and your fellow students. Clinical Pastoral Education does not advocate or require any particular faith perspective. Respect and tolerance for all faiths is paramount.
Do I Have to Apply for Certification to Take CPE?
You can take CPE on either a certified or non-certified path. Certification comes through completing the requirements of Clinical Pastoral Education. When you meet the required competency standards, including the completion of four CPE units, you will be eligible for candidacy for Certification in Clinical Chaplaincy by the Center for Spiritual Care & Pastoral Formation (CSCPF or the College of Pastoral Supervision and Psychotherapy (CPSP). If you choose not to complete certification, you still may participate and receive Accredited Clinical Pastoral Education Certificates for each unit you complete.